17 Things You Need To Pack on Your Backpacking Trip

In this post, we’re going to go over the 17 things you need to pack on your backpacking trip!

After years of hiking in the backcountry - both through the mountains and the desert - I’ve really come to understand what gear I need to pack for each trip.

If you’re new to backpacking, I hope this backcountry essentials checklist will help you get organized and have a safe trip.

Watch the video below for a description of all the items and a little bit about why I take them.

While I consider this list to have all the essentials, make sure you take the distance, duration, remoteness, expected weather, and your experience level into consideration when you pack.

Please make sure you know how to use your gear, that you tell someone where you’re going, and be prepared to navigate if your GPS fails.


  1. Backpack

  2. Water purifier/filter

  3. Sleeping bag

  4. Sleeping pad

  5. Tent

  6. Food/Coffee

  7. First Aid Kit

    • Pro Tip: Check the expiration date on all of the over-the-counter medications and ointments in your first aid kit because they do expire.

    • Make sure you adjust the size of your med kit based on the duration of your trip and the size of your hiking group.

  8. Backpacking stove

    • Make sure you have the stove, lighter, and fuel - you need all three!

  9. Multitool

  10. Trowel and toilet paper

  11. Headlamp

  12. Clothing, rain gear, and layers for expected weather

  13. Hiking boots and socks

  14. Navigation

    • Always pack a map and compass and make sure you know how to use them.

    • Additionally, you can bring a GPS, altimeter watch, and/or a Personal Locator Beacon.

  15. Sun protection

    • Make sure you have ways to protect yourself from the sun. For example, sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, SPF chapstick, and SPF-rated clothing.

    • This is my absolute favorite SPF-rated hiking shirt: Patagonia Sunshade Hooded Shirt

  16. Strips of duck tape or Tenacious Tape for repairs

    • A small gear repair kit is a smart addition to your backpacking gear. At the very least, I always carry Tenacious Tape.

  17. Kitchen utensils

Whenever you’re getting ready for a backpacking trip, I recommend packing slowly and when you’re relaxed, so that you reduce the risk of forgetting something.

For more, check out these additional resources:

See you out there, ✌️


The is the gear you need to pack for a backpacking trip. Click through for a list of backpacking gear, and loads of tips for backpacking.
What to Pack for a Backpacking Trip - the complete list of essentials. Click through for gear recommendations and tips for beginner backpackers.
If you're new to backpacking, this is a great place to start! Click through for the 17 things you need to pack on your backpacking trip along with tips for beginner backpackers.

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